95. National Security Study Memorandum 2441


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Director, Office of Management and Budget
  • The Administrator, General Services Administration


  • U.S. Civil Defense Policy

The President has directed a review of U.S. civil defense policy as set forth in NSDM 184, dated August 14, 1972.2 The study should reflect [Page 412] the impact on civil defense policy of international political and military developments since NSDM 184 was issued and take into account the current status of U.S. and Soviet civil defense programs, their potential impact on the strategic nuclear balance, and their implications for our flexible nuclear options strategy (NSDM 242).3

The study should review our current civil defense program, its effectiveness and cost, and propose a range of alternative civil defense policies and accompanying programs, including their effectiveness and costs. In addition to the above considerations, the review should take into account, but not necessarily be limited to, the following:

—Fallout shelters and emergency food and medical supplies.

—Civil defense warning and communications.

—Strategic evacuation of urban areas.

—Protection of key industrial installations.

—Education programs and materials

—The appropriate relationship between civil defense and natural disaster preparedness programs.

—The organizational structure for management of civil defense activities.

The study should be prepared by an ad hoc group composed of representatives of the recipients of this memorandum and chaired by a representative of the Secretary of Defense. The Chairman of the ad hoc group should draw upon other Departments and Agencies for assistance in those portions of the study dealing with substance in their areas of interest. The study report should be submitted by September 30, 1976, for review by the NSC Senior Review Group prior to consideration by the President.

Brent Scowcroft
  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, National Security Study and Decision Memoranda, Box 2, NSSM 244. Secret. Copies were sent to the Secretary of HUD, the Director of ACDA, the Chairman of the JCS, and the DCI.
  2. See footnote 3, Document 92.
  3. Document 31.